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Stuart Bingham: I'm sorry for Steven Lee but his ban is fair
STUART Bingham has admitted he feels sympathy towards banned snooker star Stephen Lee, but admits he fully deserved his 12-year suspension from the sport.
Lee picked up the lengthy ban after being found guilty of seven match fixing charges.
And Bingham, who lives in Vange, felt Lee could have no complaints at the severe punishment.
“It’s tough for me because Stephen and I were friends but, while I do feel sorry for him, I think if he’s been found guilty then he maybe shouldn’t be in the sport,” said Bingham, who is currently ranked 10th in the world.
“I think you have also got to say he deserves the punishment he’s got.”
Lee, the former world number five, cannot play in any game sanctioned by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association for the next 12 years.
But he denied the allegations, which included a match at the World Snooker Championship in 2009, and intends to appeal against the ban.
Snooker’s governing body says it was “the worst case of corruption” it has ever seen, and the organisation imposed their longest ever ban on a player. But Bingham declined to comment on how widespread match fixing is in the sport and insisted he was instead focused on getting back to his best form after losing 5-1 to Kyren Wilson in the first round of the Shanghai Masters.
“Kyren fluked a couple of shots to win frames but I didn’t play well, which was disappointing,” said Bingham.
“I had started the week well, making the semi-finals of the Six Red World Championships.
“But I had few days off for my honeymoon after that and maybe that wasn’t the best of preparations.”
Bingham will now be looking to bounce back when he takes part in the International Championships Qualifiers at the Barnsley Metrodome next week before heading out to play in Germany.
And after that he will be jetting out to New Delhi for the Indian Open.
“It’s a busy period for me but I’ll be looking to get back to winning ways and playing well again,” added Bingham.